Friday, December 18, 2009

A Unique Way Of Looking At Lincoln

The bicentennial year of Abraham Lincoln's birth is drawing to a close. The year has seen many ceremonies, museum exhibits, television specials, concerts, artwork, books, articles, and celebrations to commemorate Lincoln throughout the country. One of the more intriguing ways that Lincoln has been honored this year is through a new work by famed American choreographer, Bill T. Jones.

Jones created the full-length work titled Fondly Do We Hope....Fervently Do We Pray which was commissioned by the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois. Through this work, Jones interprets many aspects of Lincoln's life and what might have been had Lincoln been permitted to live through Reconstruction. To learn more about this work, please click here for photos and video.

Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray will be featured on next week's episode (December 25) of the acclaimed PBS show "Bill Moyers Journal." Mr. Moyers has long been one of this country's greatest journalists. He served as President Lyndon Johnson's press secretary in the 1960's; has worked for many of the major networks; and has been awarded the prestigious Peabody Award for journalism. I was contacted by the Director of Communications for "Bill Moyers Journal" asking if I would be interested in informing my readers of this unique way of honoring Lincoln. I am pleased to do so.

According to the email I received, "In a ground breaking work of choreography called Fondly Do We Hope...Fervently Do We Pray, Jones reimagines a young Lincoln in his formative years through dance. Bill Moyers speaks with Jones about his creative process, his insights into Lincoln, and how dance can give us fresh perspective on America's most-studied president. "This piece,ultimately, is not a biopic... It is supposed to be, 'How can we use Lincoln and his time as a mirror through which we look darkly at ourselves?'" says Jones."

This link is an excerpt of the upcoming episode. Christmas is of course a very busy day for most of us. I'll record it so I can watch it at a later date. Check your local listings for the time of the show in your area.

Bill Moyers Journal was also the setting for this year's best televised tribute to Abraham Lincoln. Back on April 10, the show featured "Lincoln's Legend and Legacy." The format featured the wonderful actor Sam Waterston reading excerpts of writings about Lincoln across the years, with interpretation provided by the leading Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. It was an incredibly moving performance. You may still view that show by clicking here.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Ok, that's got to be the most unique way of celebrating Lincoln I've seen this year. I'm not a big fan of interpretative dance, but I bet it's quite a show in person!

 
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